March 28, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 12

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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What are form-in-place gaskets, what are their benefits and limits?

A form-in-place EMI gasket, also known as an FIP EMI gasket, is a robotically dispensed electromag-netic interference (EMI) shielding solution that is ideal for modern densely populated electronics packaging. It is meant to reduce "noise" between cavities on a printed circuit board (PCB) or in an electronics enclosure. Learn the tech's top benefits and limitations in this informative Parker blog.
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World's smallest high-resolution LiDAR

Intel has just introduced the RealSense LiDAR camera L515, the world's smallest and most power-efficient hi-res unit. Designed for indoor use, the palm-sized solid-state camera creates entirely new ways to incorporate LiDAR into smart devices to perceive the world in 3D. It provides high-quality performance and millimeter accuracy to products that require vision capabilities, such as inventory management automation, 3D scanning, healthcare, retail, robotics, and more. This device can generate 23 million accurate depth points per second.
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New compact, tough angle sensors

Novotechnik has just introduced the Vert-X 1600 Series of angular position sensors, which are ideal for industrial, medical, off-highway vehicle, and other applications. They convert rotational angle into an analog or digital output, with a measurement range of 0 to 360°, 14-bit resolution, and repeatability of 0.1°. Available analog outputs are 10 to 90 percent of supply voltage and 5 to 95 percent of supply voltage. Digital interface options include SPI and PWM. The sensors are sealed to IP 65, life is ≥ 50 million movements, and MTTF is 668 years. Operating temp range is -40 to 125°C. Will operate with up to 10 N axial or radial shaft load.
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HVACR Tech Tip: How to correctly size solenoid valves

Obtaining reliable performance with solenoid valves on refrigeration or air conditioning systems demands careful consideration of application requirements during the selection process. There has always been a tendency in the industry to select solenoid valves based on line size. However, due to the pressure drop required for proper operation, this policy is risky and not recommended. What should you do?
Read this informative Parker Hannifin, Sporlan Division, blog.


EV automotive fuse safely interrupts up to 1000 VDC

High voltages and high currents occur in electric vehicles in numerous places. Their battery packs with several thousand rechargeable cells store enormous amounts of energy in order to provide for the demands of drive performance and distance, with the shortest possible charging times. Such applications require highly reliable fuses to safeguard this power. SCHURTER has just launched its AEO 10.3 x 38 mm mini-fuse series, particularly suited for battery protection in electric vehicles. The AEO series safely interrupts short-circuits up to 20 kA at 1000/800 VDC, with a current rating range of 10 to 50 A. SCHURTER's new, patented contact welding process guarantees the highest reliability and overcomes inherent weaknesses in solder joints.
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World's smallest image sensor

The OV6948 from OmniVision Technologies is the new winner of the Guinness World Record for "The Smallest Image Sensor Commercially Available" at a diminutive 0.575 x 0.575 mm. The company developed the tiny sensor to address the market demand for decreased invasiveness and deeper anatomical access in medical devices. OmniVision also offers the companion OVM6948 CameraCubeChip, a fully packaged, wafer-level color camera module measuring 0.65 x 0.65 mm, with a z-height of just 1.158 mm -- shown here next to a single peppercorn. The OVM6948 is the only ultra-small "chip on tip" camera with backside illumination, which provides excellent image quality and better low-light performance.
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Most advanced LIDAR sensor on the market

Velodyne's new Alpha Prime LIDAR sensor has a unique combination of breakthrough innovations that allows vehicles to navigate in unfamiliar and dynamic settings. It uses patented surround-view technology to deliver the combined highest performance specifications for the autonomous mobility industry in one sensor -- with reflectivity returns from over 4.8 million points per sec. Velodyne says this sensor is an unmatched solution in perception, field-of-view, and range for autonomous markets such as transportation, trucking, and robotics. It also offers a new level of power efficiency. Available now for orders and delivery.
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Voice capture at 4x the distance

Texas Instruments has just introduced a new audio analog-to-digital converter (ADC) capable of capturing clear audio up to four times farther away than competing devices. The TLV320ADC5140 is the industry's smallest quad-channel audio ADC with this level of performance. The device is part of a new family of three TI Burr-Brown audio ADCs that enable low-distortion audio recordings in loud environments, along with far-field, high-fidelity recordings in any environment. Applications include high-end smart speakers, sound bars, wireless speakers, high-def TVs, IP network cameras, teleconferencing systems, and smart appliances.
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Powerful LED curing lamp for tight work spaces

DELO now offers a compact LED curing lamp for use in industrial applications with limited work space. The powerful DELOLUX 503 is designed to bond small surfaces, like cameras used in autonomous cars, within seconds on serial production lines. The new lamp directs light diagonally downward so that it does not need to be installed at level with the components that need to be bonded. This gives more moving space to axes or grippers and helps to integrate complex systems. The UV lamp ensures high process reliability through continuous intensity control, internal control, and monitoring of important parameters like LED temperature. Up to four LED heads can be controlled by DELO controllers or by an external PLC, allowing the adhesive to be evenly exposed from several angles.
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Cool Tools: Videoscopes with tons of options

A new line of industrial videoscopes from Titian Tool Supply features inter-changeable video probes that allow for the use of different insertion tube lengths and diameters with one video unit. There are 5 different models with 3 diameter sizes and 3 lengths available. TVG-PRO Series videoscopes feature a 5-in. LCD monitor and have either 180° or full 360° articulation. They are designed for on-site inspections and maintenance on a wide range of transportation equipment, including aviation, locomotive, and gas and diesel engines; machinery, manufacturing, and metalworking, including inspections of castings and cavities; pipeline and container manufacturing; as well as power generation.
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Bend the rules of lighting design: Cut and form LED sheets

VCC is bending the rules of lighting design with its new VentoFlex tiles. The VentoFlex modular lighting system opens up countless ways for architects and lighting designers to make an impact. Available in 12-in. x 12-in. sheets, these innovative LED tiles can be cut and formed around any design element, including rounded corners and tight spaces, without taking up much room at all -- just 0.15 in. (3.81 mm). A pair of scissors is the only tool required to cut VentoFlex tiles to the size and shape you desire. Ten or 15 tiles can be linked together to one driver and dimmer to create thousands of square inches of versatile lighting power! This product is in the running for the 2019 Elektra Awards LED Product of the Year in Europe.
Learn more about this new and exciting lighting technology.


Compact hydraulic/pneumatic position sensors

Novotechnik's TM1 Series of position sensors are designed for use in hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders -- especially in tight-space applications. They are based on magnetostrictive technology and are available in screw flange or plug-in flange models. A ring-shaped magnetic marker moves up and down the sensor's shaft for touchless operation. Specs include stroke lengths from 50 to 2,000 mm (1.9 to 78.7 in.) and accuracy to +/-0.04 percent.
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Spark-proof EC fans use 50% less energy

Orion Fans has extended its electronically commutated (EC) fan product offering to include a 254-mm IP68-ATEX-rated version for waterproof and harsh environment applications. The low-power OA254EC-ATEX Series EC fan combines energy conservation with maximum protection for power-hungry applications involving explosive atmospheres or flammable gases. It delivers air flows of 500 to 830 CFM. EC fans can be used in most any AC fan application with the added benefit of power savings of up to 50 percent. EC fans often enable customers to meet energy-consumption requirements from agencies like ENERGY STAR. Ideal as a drop-in replacement for AC fans, the larger OA254 IP68-ATEX Series EC fans are suited for oil & gas applications including oil rig and oil refining equipment. The fans are also used in walk-in refrigeration systems, commercial display coolers, EV and charging systems, servers, food services equipment, and other applications.
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Protect vulnerable electronics from voltage transients and lightning events

Littelfuse has released a new series of higher surge TVS Diode products in a DO-214AB package. The 8.0SMDJ series is optimized to protect sensitive electronic equipment from transient voltage induced by lightning and other voltage events. Because it combines up to 8,000 W of peak pulse power dissipation in a compact DO-214AB SMC package, the 8.0SMDJ series offers circuit designers a high-surge, space-saving circuit protection solution that can simplify printed circuit board design and improve reliability significantly. Typical markets and applications include: home appliances, consumer electronics, industrial, data centers, AC and DC protection, and PoE protection.
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No-wear flat magnetic angle sensors

Novotechnik U.S. has just introduced the Vert-X 05E Series of magnetic rotary position sensors with compact, flat housing. Interfaces include analog, SPI, and incremental. The series is available in single and redundant versions. The sensors are touchless magnetic angle sensors with a permanent magnet that can be secured to an application's rotating shaft, so there is no direct mechanical linkage between the shaft and the measuring system -- and therefore no wear. Key specifications for Vert-X 05E include 5-mm profile, 0 to 360° measurement range, repeatability of 0.1° or better, and maximum hysteresis of 0.1°. Sample rate is up to 5 kHz, and its active measurement region extends to within 6 mm from edge of housing.
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Wave of the future: Terahertz chips provide new way of seeing through matter

Princeton University researchers have drastically shrunk the equipment for producing terahertz -- electromagnetic pulses lasting one-millionth of a millionth of a second -- from a tabletop setup with lasers and mirrors to a pair of microchips small enough to fit on a fingertip. [Photo: Frank Wojciechowski for Princeton Univ.]

 

 

 

 

Electromagnetic pulses lasting one-millionth of a millionth of a second may hold the key to advances in medical imaging, communications, and drug development. But the pulses, called terahertz waves, have long required elaborate and expensive equipment to use.

Now, researchers at Princeton University have drastically shrunk much of that equipment: moving from a tabletop setup with lasers and mirrors to a pair of microchips small enough to fit on a fingertip.

In two articles recently published in the IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits, the researchers describe one microchip that can generate terahertz waves, and a second chip that can capture and read intricate details of these waves.

"The system is realized in the same silicon chip technology that powers all modern electronic devices from smartphones to tablets, and therefore costs only a few dollars to make on a large scale," said lead researcher Kaushik Sengupta, a Princeton assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Terahertz waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum -- the broad class of waves that includes radio, X-rays, and visible light -- and sit between the microwave and infrared light wavebands. The waves have some unique characteristics that make them interesting to science. For one, they pass through most non-conducting material, so they could be used to peer through clothing or boxes for security purposes, and because they have less energy than X-rays, they don't damage human tissue or DNA.

Terahertz waves also interact in distinct ways with different chemicals, so they can be used to characterize specific substances. Known as spectroscopy, the ability to use light waves to analyze material is one of the most promising -- and the most challenging -- applications of terahertz technology, Sengupta said.

To do it, scientists shine a broad range of terahertz waves on a target and then observe how the waves change after interacting with it. The human eye performs a similar type of spectroscopy with visible light -- we see a leaf as green because light in the green light frequency bounces off the chlorophyll-laden leaf.

The challenge has been that generating a broad range of terahertz waves and interpreting their interaction with a target requires a complex array of equipment such as bulky terahertz generators or ultrafast lasers. The equipment's size and expense make the technology impractical for most applications.

Researchers have been working for years to simplify these systems. In September, Sengupta's team reported a way to reduce the size of the terahertz generator and the apparatus that interprets the returning waves to a millimeter-sized chip. The solution lies in re-imaging how an antenna functions. When terahertz waves interact with a metal structure inside the chip, they create a complex distribution of electromagnetic fields that are unique to the incident signal. Typically, these subtle fields are ignored, but the researchers realized that they could read the patterns as a sort of signature to identify the waves. The entire process can be accomplished with tiny devices inside the microchip that read terahertz waves.

"Instead of directly reading the waves, we are interpreting the patterns created by the waves," Sengupta said. "It is somewhat like looking for a pattern of raindrops by the ripples they make in a pond."

Daniel Mittleman, a professor of engineering at Brown University, said the development was "a very innovative piece of work, and it potentially has a lot of impact." Mittleman, who is the vice chair of the International Society for Infrared Millimeter and Terahertz Waves, said scientists still have work to do before the terahertz band can begin to be used in everyday devices, but the developments are promising.

"It is a very big puzzle with many pieces, and this is just one, but it is a very important one," said Mittleman, who is familiar with the work but had no role in it.

On the terahertz-generation end, much of the challenge is creating a wide range of wavelengths within the terahertz band, particularly in a microchip. The researchers realized they could overcome the problem by generating multiple wavelengths on the chip. They then used precise timing to combine these wavelengths and create very sharp terahertz pulses.

In an article published Dec. 14 in the IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits, the researchers explained how they created a chip to generate the terahertz waves. The next step, the researchers said, is to extend the work farther along the terahertz band. "Right now we are working with the lower part of the terahertz band," said Xue Wu, a Princeton doctoral student in electrical engineering and an author on both papers.

"What can you do with a billion transistors operating at terahertz frequencies?" Sengupta asked. "Only by re-imagining these complex electromagnetic interactions from fundamental principles can we invent game-changing new technology."

The paper "On-chip THz spectroscope exploiting electromagnetic scattering with multi-port antenna" was published Sept. 2, and the paper "Dynamic waveform shaping with picosecond time widths" was published Dec. 14, both by IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits. The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation's Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (grant nos. ECCS-1408490 and ECCS-1509560).

Source: Princeton University

Published March 2017

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